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Why Knowing Your Address Can Be the Difference Between Life and Death

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

Time is of the essence. This is particularly true during emergencies when seconds matter. Knowing your home, work, and close friends and relatives’ addresses can make a difference during a 911 call.

There are some limitations to our current 911 system. When calling from a cellular phone, most 911 dispatch centers will not know your exact location. This is an identified gap in our emergency response systems. Governments, cellular phone companies, and cellular telephone service providers are currently working to address this gap. In the future, new technology will make this issue better, but it is still several years away from becoming a reality.

The bottom line, for now, is that you should never assume that the 911 dispatch center knows your address, especially when calling from a cellular phone.

We are shocked. During our training, we routinely discover that 25% or more of the staff do not know their work address.

During training, it was actually brought up to us by a director - she was worried that many of her staff did not know the address of their child care program. Sure enough, we tested the staff and we were shocked. Since then, we have conducted the test all over the country - and surprisingly, it is usually with the same results. One simple step you can take today is ensuring your staff knows their address.

Whether you keep an address book in your phone, the cloud, or written down, be sure to include addresses of the places you’re most likely to be, such as your home, work, your child’s daycare center, school, after-school activities, or the homes of family and close friends.